DREAMY TROP­I­CAL PAR­ADISE

Asia Dreams - - TOP PLACES TO VISIT IN 2019 IN ASIA -

The Mal­dives, a scat­ter­ing of tiny is­lands south of Sri Lanka, have long been deemed an idyl­lic des­ti­na­tion. Known for se­cluded, uber-lux­ury re­sorts, stun­ning white sandy beaches and crys­tal-clear turquoise seas, there is plenty to do be­yond sun­bathing and sip­ping cock­tails.

WHERE TO STAY

No two is­lands are the same, but all are be­yond ex­quis­ite. When choos­ing, con­sider all the fa­cil­i­ties as you're likely to stay put on one is­land for your en­tire hol­i­day. The Mal­dives are home to every lux­ury brand avail­able, from the Four Sea­sons, to Six Senses, the Ritz-carlton and The St. Regis. In ad­di­tion, you can find smaller, spe­cial­ist brands of­fer­ing a wealth of fun and in­dul­gence, like Niyama Pri­vate Is­lands in the south­west­ern atoll of Dhaalu.

WHAT TO DO

Dive or snorkel among the teem­ing trop­i­cal fish, manta rays and tur­tles. Re­lax and be pam­pered with a spa treat­ment in an over­wa­ter treat­ment room. Have a gourmet bon­fire pic­nic on a de­serted is­land. Surf un­crowded waves. Take up wa­ter sports like jet ski­ing, wa­ter ski­ing, wake board­ing, para­sail­ing, fun tubes and more. Kids have their own kids club with sa­faris, gourmet mas­ter chef classes, scout­ing for dol­phins and other thrills.

WHERE TO EAT

If you are look­ing for Maldivian food, then stop in Male. On the is­lands, the lav­ish re­sorts vie to present the most ex­tra­or­di­nary ex­pe­ri­ences. Niyama Pri­vate Is­lands of­fers nine choices, in­clud­ing Sub­six, six feet un­der­sea where you can revel in Cham­pagne break­fasts, sub­aquatic lunches, gourmet din­ners and glow par­ties that il­lu­mi­nate the dra­matic night reef. Or head to Tribal, a Latino-african restau­rant where you are wel­comed by a Maa­sai war­rior, or dine in a tree­house at Nest for avant-garde Asian food. vis­itmal­dives.com

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